San Diego Padres Rookie Star Fernando Tatis Jr. Likely out for the Year

Fernando Tatis
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 25: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 25, 2019 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Padres 4-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres rookie star Fernando Tatis Jr. has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a stress reaction in his lower back. This injury will likely end Tatis’ impressive rookie season.

About the Injury

A stress reaction is the same injury as a stress fracture. It is a crack to one of the vertebrae in the back. As a result, it causes lower back pain on one side of the back but not the center. One of the causes is overuse — starting as a mild pain that slowly gets worse with running, jumping, and kicking.

Padres manager Andy Green has said Tatis is most likely done for the season. Despite being a rookie, Tatis has become an impossible player to replace. Padres officials have not released an expected date for Tatis’ return.

The Rehab

There are several ways to recover from a stress reaction. One way is for Tatis to rest from any physical activity that puts stress on the lower back. Tatis can also use Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Tatis could go the physical therapy route, or wear a brace.

Additionally, Tatis could also have surgery. The Padres have not yet made it known how Tatis will rehab this injury. Back injuries are tricky, and there is no telling if Tatis will be the same player when he returns.

Tatis’ Career

The Chicago White Sox signed Tatis in 2015 as a free agent. Before playing one game in the White Sox organization, he was traded to the Padres in 2016 for pitcher James Shields. Tatis immediately became one of the best prospects in all of baseball. This season the Padres named Tatis the starting shortstop by the end of Spring Training.

After a slow start, Tatis has really come on. Tatis is hitting .317 with 22 home runs and 53 RBI. The defense Tatis has displayed this year has been dazzling, and Tatis has also swiped 16 bases. This would be the second straight year Tatis has suffered a season-ending injury. Last year he broke his thumb and suffered ligament damage while sliding headfirst.

Tatis’ Impact

The impact of this injury could be significant for the Padres. Tatis is the crown jewel of the Padres rebuild. This past offseason the Padres signed superstar third basemen Manny Machado to form a formidable one-two punch. The Padres were counting on the two players to lead the team for a decade.

Rookie Pete Alonso has received all the headlines for his record-setting season, but Tatis had really closed the gap for the Rookie of the Year award. This injury clearly ends all chances of Tatis winning the award.

Padres Outlook

The Padres are an up and coming team. Even with Tatis’ debut they still have one of the best-rated farm systems in the league. Pitcher Noah Syndergaard has long been a trade target of the Padres. The New York Mets have asked for Tatis in return if Syndergaard is traded to the Padres. The Padres have insisted Tatis is an untouchable player in any trade.

If Tatis’ injury becomes something more long term, this could really impact the Padres. They might have to use their deep system to replace Tatis.

Tatis is one of the brightest young stars in the game. All of baseball is hoping he can return at full strength.

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